COPD

Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice

Pulmonologist located in Monaca, PA

An estimated 16 million Americans struggle to breathe due to COPD. At Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice, Benjamin A. Laracuente, MD, and the team of experienced pulmonary disease specialists offer in-office lung function testing to identify the early signs of COPD. The providers are skilled in creating treatment plans to slow down the progression of your lung disease and help you retain your independence and a high quality of life. Schedule a COPD evaluation at the office in Monaca, Pennsylvania, by calling or using the online booking system.

COPD Q & A


What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes a group of progressive lung diseases that affect your respiratory health. Included under the COPD umbrella are:

Emphysema

Emphysema is a condition where the air sacs in your lungs become damaged which prevents the proper absorption of oxygen. The structure of the sacs become stretched out and trap air inside, making it difficult to breathe out and causing persistent shortness of breath.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis results when your bronchial tubes become damaged and inflamed. This inflammation reduces how much air you can breathe in.

Within the lining of the bronchial tubes are tiny hair-like fibers that help clear mucus from the lungs. In chronic bronchitis, damage causes the loss of hair fibers, and it becomes more difficult to bring up mucus. This results in chronic coughing, persistent swelling, and difficulty breathing

Refractory (nonreversible) asthma

Refractory asthma is a type of asthma that can’t be treated with traditional asthma medications when your airways become inflamed and narrowed.

This kind of asthma requires specialty care to prevent severe respiratory complications and premature death.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

The symptoms of COPD vary from one person to the next. It’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice if you experience symptoms like:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness breath
  • Persistent coughing

While these symptoms can be the result of a cold or exposure to environmental irritants, they may be the first indication of a progressive lung disease if they don’t resolve with home care.

How is COPD diagnosed?

The providers at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice are experienced in diagnosing the cause of your symptoms and determining if you have the early signs of a progressive lung disease.

The team uses on-site pulmonary function tests to measure how much air you move in and out of your lungs and how effectively you move the air.

How is COPD treated?

Treating COPD may initially involve inhaled medications to reduce inflammation in your airways and help you breathe better. You may also need a course of antibiotics if you have existing or recurrent infections in your respiratory tract.

If you have persistent shortness of breath, you may be a candidate for oxygen therapy using portable equipment that delivers oxygen through a nasal tube or face mask. This treatment is usually for those who have existing lung damage and/or aren’t responding well to medications.

The providers also help you manage your COPD to help you remain physically active and independent. They provide comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation services that include exercises, nutrition counseling, and muscle-strengthening therapies to keep you healthy and well-equipped to cope with COPD.

If you’re limited in what you can do because of persistent wheezing or coughing, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice using the online booking feature or calling the office today.